The middle of August brings changes to the Capitol’s tour schedule. The day care groups and vacationing families disappear from the Capitol’s halls, while retired couples taking advantage of the smaller crowds take their place on tour. The tour office remains busy, but with a different emphasis. As schools start it means the tour office phone starts ringing more frequently as teachers begin to make plans for upcoming field trips. Teachers and helpers should call as soon as possible to schedule a tour since prime dates in April and May are already getting booked. Because the coming 2014 Legislative session is a short session ending by mid-April, we encourage school groups who usually try to tour in late April or May to consider an autumn tour instead. Teachers who usually do a self-guided walk-through tour because the scheduled tour times are booked could consider scheduling in the autumn. The Capitol is quieter and there are less distractions from other groups in the building. The elevators are less crowded and groups can take advantage of the opportunity to go to the Observation Decks and Memorial Hall without waiting for others. Visitors in October can take in the beautiful autumn colors associated with Lincoln’s predominantly oak urban forest. While the activity in the Capitol changes with the coming of school, the free guided tours remain available on the hour Monday – Friday at 9, 10, 11 am and 1, 2, 3, 4 pm; on Saturday and Holidays at 10, 11 am and 1, 2, 3, 4 pm; and on Sundays at 1, 2, 3, 4 pm. Tours begin at the north entrance on second floor. The main north entrance at the top of the granite steps will remain open until the weather requires we close it for winter.